iF: A mind-bending new way of looking at big ideas and numbers by David J Smith

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Ill. by Steve Adams. New Frontier Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781925059267
Smith has taken a whole host of little known or discussed statistics and scaled them down to more manageable time frames, numbers or items. As stated in the blurb, 'iF the sun were the size of a grapefruit, Earth would be the size of a grain of salt. Even the largest planet, Jupiter, would only be as big as a small pea . . . Space, time, inventions, resources, humanity and more - iF scales down big concepts and invites readers to see the world in a mind-bending new way.'
Containing stylised illustrations with brightly coloured backgrounds, the text is presented in different boxes on each double paged spread yet does not comprise of overwhelming amounts of print. Events of the last 3,000 years are presented on a single page of a calendar, inventions on a measuring tape etc. In this way, the reader has a visual representation of various events which can be far more easily interpreted by the young reader.
Smith has previously released If the World were a village, a title which has been heavily used by teachers in Maths, English, Science and the old SOSE curriculum or inquiry units. This title will undoubtedly become equally as popular for the same reasons. The double paged spread at the back of the book contains information for teachers and parents, including how to use scales, maps and timelines. Children, particularly boys looking for non-fiction titles are likely to devour the information included in this title.
Jo Schenkel